Packaging Career Tips

Resume Writing

There are a lot of good websites to help with resume writing, but there are a few items that we think are very important to keep in mind from the hiring manager’s perspective.

Surveys show that hiring managers will spend less than 10 seconds determining if a resume deserves a detailed look.

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Is your resume in the standard format? If your information is hard to read or hard to find, you’re not getting off to a good start. Name, address, and contact info right at the top.

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Are your previous employers easy to spot? The quality/relevance of previous employers is one of the first things a hiring manager looks for. Make them STAND OUT.

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Use numbers to emphasize accomplishments. $50,000 in annual cost savings stands out even on this page, doesn’t it?

Now that you’re through the 10-second window, let’s go back to the top and see what we’ve got.

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Objective – This isn’t the most important part of your resume, but it could hurt you. If your objective doesn’t match anything in the job description, that’s a miss. Make sure your objective matches the opportunity in front of you, but remember you’re still on a clock. Keep it short.

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Previous positions – include a summary of each position, but only a line or two.

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Detailed bullets – Is there anything you can add that is relevant to the specific job you’re applying for? Add it!

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Quantifiable Accomplishments – this isn’t a job description, it’s your resume! What sets you apart from others? What have you contributed?

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As mentioned above, use numbers! “Successfully managed $10 million package redesign…” The numbers draw attention to your successes.

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Anything totally irrelevant? Take it off! Any time a hiring manager is reading something that isn’t selling you, you’re wasting their time, and you’re wasting your time to sell yourself.

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Interests/hobbies at the end. Admittedly not relevant, but some managers are curious. Label it clearly and boldly so she/he can skip it if they’d like. This is also an opportunity to call attention to any charitable work you to, etc.

Interviewing

Your first interview will almost always be a phone screen.  The hiring manager will be evaluating more than your technical knowledge, so be prepared! 

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Set-up somewhere with a good signal, where it will be quiet and you can talk uninterrupted.

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Review the job description and the company website before your call. You need to be able to demonstrate sincere interest in the role and the organization.

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Be thorough but concise. If the hiring manager needs clarification, she’ll ask!

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Cite specific examples from your experience when possible. It makes your experience more real if you can go beyond theoretical conversation.

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Ask questions as they come to mind. You want it to become more of a conversation so everyone can relax and let personalities come out a bit. The hiring manager needs to be able to see herself working with you every day.

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Don’t cross the line from relaxed to unprofessional. Lay off the profanity.

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Remember you’re interviewing them too. You need to learn enough in this call to know if you’re interested in next steps.

Typically the next interview would be onsite with 5-7 peers, cross-functional partners, subordinates and supervisors. Lately those interviews have moved to Zoom, Skype, or some other platform.  In addition to the points above, keep these in mind: 

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Once you know what platform the interviewers will be using, do a dry run! Make sure your signal is strong and the software is working properly.

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Check your background for anything unprofessional.

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Online or in person, make good eye contact!

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Even online, dress for success. Most places aren’t wearing suits and ties anymore (a suit won’t count against you), but dress like a professional. Slacks and a collar at a minimum.